USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo and USA coach Greg Popovich had some interesting comments about former UK star Devin Booker as well as former Louisville standout Donovan Mitchell during a conference call about the announcement of the USA national team.
Q. My question is just what prompted you guys to, along with the selection committee, to pick Devin Booker after he’s only played a little over a season and a half? What did you see that prompted a selection of him?
JERRY COLANGELO: Well, he’s one of the outstanding young players in the league, and bear in mind in some of these selections, we’re projecting where these players might be a year or two from now. And so he’s one of the young guys that we decided we wanted to take a real good look at.
GREGG POPOVICH: Also he was with the team last summer that participated in the group, that scrimmaged against the Olympic team, and he was very impressive, as he has been. He’s not just a talented player, he’s a heck of a competitor, and as Jerry said, down the line, you expect that he will even improve and continue the good play that we’ve seen, despite the injuries that he’s had.
Q. You guys talked about the young talent. There’s so much young talent in the league, especially this year’s rookie class. Do you guys possibly see yourselves bringing in somebody like a Donovan Mitchell maybe to come in and get some experience and possibly even play on the team someday? What’s your thoughts on him and his future?
JERRY COLANGELO: Well, we had a lot of discussion about Donovan Mitchell. He’s had a terrific rookie season, and another class character guy, and so as we move forward here, Pop and I are talking about the possibility of bringing in some young studs like him, as we have in the past, getting ready for different competitions to be part of it. And so for the moment, the list we submitted is the list, and I said also it’s a very fluid list. It could be — there could be some additions, but for sure we see Donovan Mitchell as someone involved with USA Basketball as we go forward.